Friday, July 25, 2014

Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile Arthritis has become one of the nation’s most common childhood ailments.  Approximately 295,000 children suffer from several types of rheumatologic conditions which can greatly affect their ability to develop normally and lead active lives without pain.  Basic symptoms include tenderness, stiffness, pain or swelling of joints resulting in restricted movements and limited range of motion.
To date, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis remains an enigma and there is no cure, be it among children or adults.  It has not been found to be related to eating habits, vitamin deficiency or allergies, but maybe present in genes and triggered by unknown factors. Only after assessing the patient’s complete medical history can rheumatoid arthritis be diagnosed. For arthritic problems in children, evaluation should be done by a pediatric rheumatologist after joint swelling is present in two or more joints for six weeks.
Treatment concentrates on controlling inflammation, joint deformity and pain. While medications can be adopted as a first line of treatment, pediatric rheumatologists also encourage physical activity, occupational therapy and proper nutrition to manage symptoms.
Awareness is growing worldwide as July is declared the Juvenile Arthritis awareness month. If you would like to learn more please visit


Thursday, July 17, 2014

What is the definition of holistic wellness?

We define wellness as the optimum state of health for a person. Wellness is when the physical, mental and spiritual states of a person are in harmony with each other and are perfectly balanced. It is an ongoing journey and one that, according to circumstances, will change and can change you. This is also called holistic health. Holistic means ‘of the whole’. It is not only about the physical health or mental health, but includes the health of all parts of the body.
What is the importance of holistic health?
Very often, a person is sick and medicine is at a loss to define what the problem is. For example, a person could have psoriasis and the doctor could keep treating the patient with topical medication and oral medication. But it doesn’t always get cured with doses of medication, or it may recur again in some cases. In such cases, one needs to find the reason for the psoriasis. Very often, doctors have found that the underlying cause of the psoriasis is stress, where the patient would need a holistic treatment. They need not only the medication for their current symptoms, but they also need to de-stress which is a state of mind and not of the body. Holistic health tries to determine the underlying cause of problems and tries to treat the problem as a whole.
How is holistic health applied?
Let us take a simple case of alcoholism to explain how holistic wellness works. The physical results of alcoholism are liver damage, fatigue, cancer, kidney damage, unproductiveness, etc. But when approaching this problem from a holistic point of view, the person who is treating the patient will approach the problem in two ways.
The first one would be treating the physical problems that have risen out of alcoholism. The second part is delving deeper into the person’s life and trying to find out why the person turned to alcohol in the first place. It could be due to trauma, marital problems, loss of a job, etc. The doctor will try and get help for the patient by encouraging them to join support groups.
The spiritual aspect of this journey will be addressed too. A change to a healthy lifestyle, yoga, alternative medicine therapies are all recommended for holistic treatment. By working holistically, there are two advantages. The patient starts feeling better, and secondly there is less chance for a reoccurrence of the illness.
What are the different ways that we can practice an optimum state of wellness?
The best way to ensure that you are in a state of holistic wellness is to make sure that all the three aspects – physical, mental and spiritual wellness – are equally addressed. Some ways that you can ensure that you are on the path to holistic wellness are:
  •  Exercise regularly
  • Sleep well
  • Eat healthy and nutritious food
  • Stop all kinds of substance abuse
  • Lead an active lifestyle
  • Make your life more organized, so your stress level becomes less
  • Take some time out of your day for yourself, every day. It makes a big difference
  • Try and make your environment stress-free or at least try and lessen the stress in your life
  •  Meditate regularly
  •  Be productive

By following these small tips you can ensure holistic wellness!